HC Deb 07 July 1971 vol 820 cc1323-5
19. Mr. Selwyn Gummer

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total number of families which have left the Inner London boroughs during the past three years to take up residence in new or expanding towns.

Mr. Amery

The number of families from the inner London boroughs who have moved to rented housing in the new or expanding towns in the years 1968, 1969 and 1970 is estimated at approximately 8,500. No information is available about those moving to private housing.

Mr. Gummer

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer, but does he not agree that many people are deterred from moving from Inner London boroughs to the new and expanding towns by the complication of the arrangements which are made, and that they find it difficult to get the necessary information? Will he please do something about this as a matter of urgency?

Mr. Amery

My hon. Friend is right; it is not as easy as it should be. I have been working closely with the Peterborough new town to see how its connection with Lambeth can be strengthened and improved.

21. Mr. McCrindle

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what assistance is being given by his Department to families from inner London wishing to have houses and jobs in new and expanding towns; and how much this is expected to cost to public funds in the current financial year.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Paul Channon)

The Industrial Selection Scheme helps people throughout London to find jobs in these towns and they are then eligible for a house. The main costs of operating the scheme fall on the Department of Employment and the Greater London Council.

Mr. McCrindle

Will my hon. Friend keep in touch with his hon. Friends at the Department of Trade and Industry to make sure that we do not reach a situation where there are available houses in the new and expanding towns but fewer jobs to go with them than one would wish?

Mr. Channon

Yes, certainly I can give that indication, and I take note of what my hon. Friend says.

Mr. George Cunningham

Will the Minister recognise that although many people in Inner London wish to move to new towns, there are many people living on average earnings who wish to remain in Inner London? Does he recognise that his policies and the withdrawal of subsidies will make it increasingly difficult for them to do so?

Mr. Channon

On the contrary, as I tried to explain—but the hon. Member refuses to understand—the whole purpose of changing the housing subsidies is to give more help to those people who are most in need.

Mr. Allason

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that there are satisfactory opportunities for the unskilled, who can be trained to do semi-skilled jobs in the new towns, as opposed to the Industrial Selection Scheme, which tends to give opportunities to the skilled?

Mr. Channon

My hon. Friend is quite right. It would be better if there were more opportunities of this kind, and I will certainly keep this under review.

Mr. Speaker

Question No. 22.

Mr. Tilney

On a point of order. Yesterday's Notices of Motions and Orders of the Day contained a Question in my name, between the Questions of my hon. Friends the Members for Billericay (Mr. McCrindle) and Westmorland (Mr. Jopling), asking the Secretary of State for the Environment what his policy is towards a combined approach to the multiple problems of inner city areas, such as is being undertaken by Shelter Neighbourhood Action project in Liverpool. This Question appears to have been left off the Order Paper. Could this matter be looked into, and could the Minister reply?

Mr. Speaker

I much prefer to take points of order about Questions at the end of Question Time. I will look into the matter.

Hon. Members

It is Question No. 66.